By: Francis Allan L. Angelo and Dolly Yasa
INCESSANT rains and strong winds caused by tropical depression Gener and monsoon winds claimed one life while three others were missing aside from destroying houses and triggering landslides in the region.
The Office of Civil Defense and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (OCD-RDRRMC) reported that Gener tolled heavily on southern Iloilo and Negros Occidental, Iloilo City and Antique.
In Antique, OCD-6 reported a lone casualty identified as Ronald Nicor, 33, of Brgy. Pangalcagan, Bugasong who drowned while crossing the Paliwan River.
The Philippine Coast Guard in Negros Occidental said strong waves destroyed the boat of three fishermen off the coast of Brgy. Tagda, Hinigaran at around 9am Tuesday.
The PCG and the local government conducted rescue operations but only found the boat’s wreckage.
Meanwhile, another fisherman, identified as Jack Meniado, has been missing since Saturday after his boat was destroyed by strong waves off the coast of Victorias City.
Search and rescue operations were continuing for the three fishermen.
Reports from the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) as of Tuesday show a total of 113 houses either totally or partially damaged by strong winds, dislocating more or less 600 persons.
Most of the destroyed houses are located in the coastal area of Iloilo City Proper, Molo and Arevalo districts.
Darwin Joemil Papa of the CDRRMO said the dislocated families were evacuated to covered gyms in their respective villages or sought shelter with their relatives.
Papa said they continue to monitor other coastal areas and other high risk areas in the city for any damage to properties and lives caused by the bad weather.
In Iloilo province, a series of landslides occurred at Sitio Pana-itan, Brgy. Cunsad, Alimodian Tuesday morning.
Alimodian municipal disaster risk reduction and management officer Sherwin Bering said the landslide isolated the barangays comprising the Seven Cities area - Cabacanan Proper, Cabacanan Rizal, Tabug, Umingan, Manasa, Lico, and Dao.
Bering said the first landslide covered the road leading to the Seven Cities with soil 3-5 meters deep and 25 meters long.
The second landslide in the same sitio brought down 24 hectares of soil, affecting 80 meters of the same road.
Bering said there were no reported injuries or casualties as residents of the area have already relocated since last year.
He said the provincial government has already dispatched a team to make the necessary action about the situation.
An assessment on hazards and vulnerabilities conducted by the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had identified the area as highly vulnerable to subsidence and landslide.
OCD-6 also reported that eight houses were completely destroyed and partly damaged 11 others in two coastal barangays in Guimbal, Iloilo.
Gener’s fury which centered on Luzon also isolated Negros Occidental as the Philippine Coast Guard cancelled ferry trips even as 11 barangays in three towns and one component city in were flooded.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office said 1,162 persons in the island were displaced by the tropical depression.
The local government of Valladolid town already declared a state of calamity and the town of Hinobaan is following suit.
Mayor Romel Yogore said the Valladolid Sangguniang Bayan declared a state of calamity in 14 of 16 barangays of their town so that funds can be released to assist the affected families.
Yogore said their town is like a catch basin because everytime there are heavy rains it floods, he said.
PSWDO head Lliane Garcia said one barangay in Hinigaran and Valladolid were flooded, three in Bago City, three barangays and six in Hinobaan.
In Hinobaan, the affected barangays are Buluangan, Bacuyangan, Culipapa, Alim and Asia.
A total of 112 families or 532 persons were also dislocated as four houses were totally destroyed by a tornado last July 28, bringing the total of totally destroyed houses to 23 while 131 were partially damaged.
In Bago City, the three barangays flooded were Binubuhan, Poblacion and Mailum.
Affected families reached 123 or 460 persons while four houses were totally damaged and 121 houses were partially damaged.
In Valladolid, the poblacion barangay was flooded with 35 families or 140 persons affected. Nineteen houses were totally damaged and 215 partially damaged.
In Hinigaran town, Barangay Gargato was flooded affecting five families or 30 persons while five houses were partially damaged.
The Philippine Coast Guard here reported that all trips of seacrafts and other sea vessels were cancelled.
About 143 passengers were stranded July 31 at the BREDCO port.